Retail sports betting will initially launch with three casinos, which are frantically preparing to accommodate the expected rush of customers. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) is confident that the launch will be successful and is well underway with final checks and verifications. While online sports betting fans will need to wait a few more months, introducing the state’s first retail sportsbooks remains a high-profile event.
Certified Casinos Expect a Rush of Players
The MGC selected 10 a.m. January 31 is the official launch of sports betting in Massachusetts. The Commission deliberated hard on the exact time, preferring to avoid the busiest parts of the day to mitigate the risk of uncontrollable crowds. MGM Springfield, Plainridge Park Casino, and Encore Boston Harbor still expect strong attendance, as many residents of the state will undoubtedly be ecstatic to be among the first to try out the new system.
Final preparations are still underway as the MGC needs to ensure that every aspect of the sports betting experience at the three venues is up to standard. Kiosks and related equipment are getting a final check, and Commission members are working with casinos to iron out any last-minute questions. The MGC’s final operations certificate votes for each of the three casinos represent the final hurdle, but everything should hopefully go as planned.
The MGC Is Preparing for March’s Mobile Launch
Commission representatives plan to visit each casino on opening day to ensure gamblers enjoy a safe and productive experience. However, the MGC’s work will be far from over after that as it shifts focus to mobile sports betting and its planned March launch. Eleven operators have received permanent or temporary approvals for a Class 3 digital license, including industry heavyweights like Caesars, BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Betway.
With such heated competition, the MGC will be hard-pressed to monitor for operators trying to skirt the rules to gain an unfair advantage over their rivals. Initial signs appear promising, as Barstool Sportsbook almost missed out on the coveted license after responsible gambling concerns. The Commission was very strict with the operator, warning that any deviation from regulation would result in severe punishment.
Gambling advertisement is another hot topic on the MGC’s plate. The regulator is reportedly planning to introduce strict betting advertising restrictions, although details remain uncertain. The Commission’s focus on minimizing gambling harm and promoting sports integrity will serve it well in the upcoming months as Massachusetts takes its place alongside the dozens of other states benefiting from the growing sports betting industry.